TY - JOUR
T1 - Basic Statistics for Comparing the Centers of Continuous Data From Two Groups
JF - Hospital Pediatrics
JO - hosppeds
SP - 50
LP - 54
DO - 10.1542/hpeds.2015-0202
VL - 6
IS - 1
AU - Hall, Matt
AU - Richardson, Troy
Y1 - 2016/01/01
UR - http://hosppeds.aappublications.org/content/6/1/50.abstract
N2 - Comparing continuous data across groups is paramount in research and hospital operations. Naively assuming that any observed difference between the two groups implies that the groups are truly different ignores a few important facts: (1) there is natural variation that occurs in almost every process; and (2) our confidence in concluding that the differences are real, and not just due to chance. In the present article, we describe statistical procedures used to perform a comparison across 2 groups.At some point in your career, you will likely want to compare data across ≥2 groups. In fact, this function is paramount to the research you read in this journal (eg, as shown in the first table given in almost any article) and to the day-to-day operations within hospitals. You may, for example, be asked to compare factors such as length of stay, mortality rates, productivity, or utilization of a specific drug between your hospital and another hospital. You may also be asked to compare some measure within your own institution at different time points, perhaps before and after a specific intervention. Naively assuming that any difference in outcome implies that the groups are truly different is risky. Doing so completely ignores a few important facts: (1) there is natural variation that occurs in almost every process; and (2) our confidence in concluding that the differences are real, and not just due to chance. In comes statistics.In this article, we focus our attention on comparing the center of continuous data across 2 groups, but the ideas are generalizable to >2 groups. We outline here a series of important steps that you can take to identify the type of test you need and how to interpret the results. Throughout these steps, we consider a sample data set to compare the birth weight …
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